The injury fear that kept Georgie Kelly out of Rotherham United's clash with Middlesbrough

Georgie Kelly missed out for Rotherham United against MiddlesbroughGeorgie Kelly missed out for Rotherham United against Middlesbrough
Georgie Kelly missed out for Rotherham United against Middlesbrough
Manager Matt Taylor reveals why the Millers centre-forward didn't play.

GEORGIE Kelly was taken out of the pre-season firing line by Rotherham United to guard against a recurrence of the injury problems that have plagued him in the past.

The striker was missing from the Millers squad that took on fellow Championship side Middlesbrough at AESSEAL New York Stadium last night because of a calf niggle.

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He had featured against Elche during the training camp in Murcia, Spain, three days earlier and the issue isn't thought to be serious.

The 26-year-old arrived in South Yorkshire from League of Ireland side Bohemians with a calf complaint 18 months months ago and since then has twice been sidelined by similar complaints.

"Georgie played through the Elche game last Saturday absolutely fine but has a bit of tightness in his calf," said manager Matt Taylor following the 2-0 loss to Boro.

"It's a really strange sensation. It's almost like a 'pulse' in there. There's nothing showing on the testing.

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"He could probably have played tonight but with his history with calves we didn't want to risk him in any kind of way. He'll be fine going into the weekend or the start of next week."

Rotherham were second best against the visitors from Teesside who reached the play-offs last term and look well capable of emulating that feat next season.

"It was a good physical workout," Taylor said. "We chased the opposition an awful lot. It was mostly an out-of-possession game for us. That always affects your use of the ball because you're so leggy when you get it back. The players stuck to task but certain areas were exposed."

The Millers, who have three more friendlies before August 5 opening day, conceded a goal in each half and would have lost by a bigger margin had goalkeeper Viktor Johansson not been in such good form.

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Middlesbrough changed their entire starting 11 at the interval while Rotherham made a raft of substitutions and brought on academy youngsters midway through the second half.

Taylor admitted that fresh faces are needed if his team are to build on last season's second-tier survival feat and hopes to have two new signings through the door by the end of the week.

"Boro played through us too often for my liking and were able to use the space on offer," he said. "I wanted to expose the group and see them tested against a quality team. I was looking at individual performances and the players moved pretty well.

"We want more control with the ball. Rarely did we stay up the pitch long enough to threaten. There's certainly work to do in relation to where we're at. We were up against a good side, particularly in the first half. We want to be a good side ourselves."

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Rotherham head to League Two Mansfield Town on Saturday when senior pros Lee Peltier and Jamie Lindsay could return after resting tight calves against Michael Carrick's team.

In addition, centre-forward Josh Kayode, back in full training after a year that saw him undergo knee and quad operations, may get his first game-time of the summer.